Top Ten Semi R&D Spenders

Thanks to IC Insights for this one – the ten semiconductor companies which spent the most on R&D last year:







  1. SecretEuroPatentAgentMan

    Any R&D spending information on Imagination Technologies?

    • On that topic (and drifting off the main topic, sorry, David!), do you have a feel for IMG’s patent portfolio strength?

      I’m wondering if, in a scenario where Apple are hoping to kill IMG by starving them of funds and then cherry-picking the corpse for any essential IP, if IMG could bow-out with a poison pill where they sell their patent portfolio (ostensibly to maximise the final return to the shareholders) to a well-funded and very aggressive patent troll.

      It would certainly make for entertaining spectating, and might even set a helpful defensive precedent for the little guys if it works.

      The Baron

      • SecretEuroPatentAgentMan

        Yes, I did a quick overview of their patenting activity in another thread here (not the Mannerisms) and the essence was that patenting activity had dropped significantly. Especially international filing had fallen off a cliff.

        This is now extra interesting since they are waving the IPR flag at Apple. The exodus by Imagination employees to Apple would in my view be a cause for concern and a double quick auditing of IPR activities by those who have left. I am not saying there is necessarily anything illegal going on but it is likely that what they have worked on has not been properly protected. Since their future could depend on the strength of their IPR portfolio I can see them going into serious overtime here.

        Selling IPR to a tough troll is a well known way of making the opponent pay, a card that is played in negotiations before selling off the portfolio.

        It is in times like these that the patent attorney/agent must demonstrate that the patents are worth something and we have a lot of strings to play. I am myself involved with a small client facing a large established adversary and we have made the infringer pay by attacking his patent portfolio and other means.

        • Many thanks! Interesting to learn that troll threats are indeed an established practice, too.

          • SecretEuroPatentAgentMan

            The troll threat is close to last resort, like when your house is on fire and you really want to make sure you torch the opponent too. The first threat is to tell the opponent what will happen if they destroy your IPR portfolio – namely opening up for 200 Chinese vendors to flood the market with what then will be legal copies.

            Like the best tailors our threats are bespoke and most of these things happens behind curtains. 😎

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